Calgary startup putting ads in unconventional places

New business advertiise – with two i's – helps connect small businesses with local advertising space

Entrepreneur Mark Vella is in the business of selling ads – but not just your traditional benches and billboards.

Before creating his platform advertiise, Vella actually owned a chain of gyms. As the story goes, he noticed a fridge in the corner, which was given to him for free by a soft-drink company, but it didn’t exactly align with the health-conscious values of the gym.

So Vella struck a deal with the supplements store around the corner – putting their logo on the fridge, and stocking it with their product.

“I was already looking ahead of the curve and thinking, ‘if I have all this valuable and untapped advertising space to sell, and essentially its an incremental revenue stream, how many other businesses or vendors (also) have ad space to sell?” he said.

Flash forward a few years, and Vella just launched advertiise, a platform for buying and selling unique advertising spaces.

He hopes that not only with this help small and medium sizes businesses find or create some unique advertising opportunities, but also streamline the ad buying process.

For someone just starting out, especially, Vella feels the advertising world can be a bit complicated.

“If you’re a small business owner, a realtor, a hair salon, and you want to buy advertising space locally, it’s very hard to do,” he said. “If you want to buy a billboard or newspaper space, you have to know who the vendors are first.”

Just buying a billboard, he explained, involves tracking down the owners, setting up a call, negotiating, and a ton of back-and-forth from both parties.

Through advteriise, prices are more easily available, and you can set up ad campaigns in a few clicks. From fridges to kids hockey teams, there are a myriad of opportunities.

Vella feels that although many businesses place an increased importance on digital advertising and social media, but traditional advertising is now more affordable than every before and still has a wide reach.

The Calgary company already has some buzz around it – they were one of 15 startups chosen for AccelerateAB this year.

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newsAndrew Morganidea, customer